Dear Future Daughter,
I see you every day. In a world still dripping in under-appreciated Black girl magic, you emerge often. I see you more and more clearly every day sometimes with joy and sometimes with a hallow sadness. I see you in then-2-year-old Parker Curry as she stares in wonder at Michelle Obama and declares her queen. In that moment I saw you, shine through like a light from the future to make me smile.
I see you every day. In a world still dripping in under-appreciated Black girl magic, you emerge often.
I see you in Marley Dias, Founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, who is 16 years old and getting the job done. When I was even younger than her, I loved books so much that I would get in trouble at night for reading with a flashlight in bed. Her spark, her energy and excitement make me smile at the thought of what great things you might do.
I see you in Khloe of Khloe Kares, a young girl who distributes Kares bags to homeless women showing us that you can make a difference at any age. She saw people in need and needed to act. She reminds us all to look around to see what little things we can do to make a big difference.
I see you in Mikaila, the founder and CEO of Me and The Bees, another young woman whose products are sold in Whole Foods here in the DC area. There is no pressure, but I imagine that you will come up with wild dreams and push through until they happen. I imagine that one day you will dream so big that I will wonder where you got your fearlessness from and then I will remember that once I was that fearless too and learn from you all over again.
I see you in the book The Hate U Give, written by Angie Thomas, and wonder what kind of childhood I will give you. Will it be just like mine or will I make it better? Or will I make it worse? You could be Starr, or any of the magical Black girls Angie wrote into existence pulled from our sad current reality.
I imagine that one day you will dream so big that I will wonder where you got your fearlessness from and then I will remember that once I was that fearless too and learn from you all over again.
I see you in the strength of 14-year-old Naomi Wadler who made sure America did not forget the Black female victims of gun violence in her important 2018 speech. She is letting everyone know that we mean it when we say #NeverAgain. She dedicated an extra minute for Black women during the March 14, 2018 national walkout.
I see you in Tomi Adeyemi who, at just 24 years old, scored one the largest book deals in history AND landed a seven-figure movie deal for her debut novel, The Children of Blood And Bone, which is rooted in her Nigerian heritage. Adeyemi describes the fantasy series as “Black Panther but with magic” and I cannot wait to read every page out loud to you one day.
I see you in young Yara Shahidi who never hesitates to speak her mind and shows us the complexity of Black women in her shows, Black-ish and Grown-ish. She’s also letting America know that guns should not have more rights than Black People.
I see you, future daughter, starting as a bouncing baby and growing into a strong and vibrant young lady, but I can’t see past where I am now. Is it because I have not lived that far myself, or is fear of living in a country where too many young women who look like us don’t get to dream as big as their lives should have been long? Someday soon we will meet and I will learn to see past all my hopes and dreams and just see you.
This article was originally published on April 20, 2018, and has been updated for timeliness.